Masashige Tanto with NBTHK Certificate.
Mekugiana 2Masashige Tanto Tenbun Period circa (1532-1554) 2nd generation with NBTHK Hozon certicate
Masashige was the son/ grandson or student of the legendary Muramasa. He worked forging swords with his master Muramasa who was the son of Kanemura originally from Akasaka Mino Domain he then later relocated to Kuwana in Ise domain where his Sengo school of swordmaking flourished in the Ise prefecture which is also one of the most sacred religious sites in Japan.The 1st generation Masashige was active in Eisho period (1504-1520) and the 2nd generation was active during Tenbun(1532-1554).
Muramasa and Masashige played an important role in supplying powerful clans and warlords with high quality swords Muramasa and Masashige blades are reknowned for their extraordinary sharpness and cutting ability and were highly sought after and regarded by samurai. Apart from some Tokugawa Ieyasu who outlawed the ownership of Muramasa blades as he had lost many friends and relatives to Muramasa swords and even cut himself badly with a Muramasa blade many Muramasa blades had their signatures erased or altered for this reason to disguise them enemies of the Tokugawa would often use muramasa blades against the Tokugawa. Muramasa himself was said to have a violent nature and an ill balanced mind which it was believed to have passed into the swords he forged his swords were popularly believed to hunger for blood.
This Hirazukuri tanto is the work work of 2nd generation Masashige and closely resembles the work of Muramasa signed with his 2 character signature with the distinct upward facing character for Masa also the characteristic shaped nakago /Tanagobara gata/fish belly shape tang.The hada is typical Masashige work the hamon shows the falling snow effect. it is mounted in recently made koshirae with iron tsuba with bird of prey motif, the fuchi and menuki are kamon / family crests the kashira is made of buffalo horn in the traditional manner has red lacquered saya.